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Old 04-30-2010, 04:22 PM   #1
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Removing dirt around foundation


I would like to remove about four feet of dirt around my foundation in my back yard. I'm wondering if doing so might cause any instability in my foundation.

In my uneducated opinion, I don't really think it will because there are a number of other homes that have the basement exposed, but I'm not sure if the builder did anything special to the foundation of those to allow the basement to be more exposed than mine currently is.

Knowing nothing about construction is it possible to tell whether this is going to be an issue? Is there some sort of expert I can contact to tell me definitively that my foundation will be alright if I remove the dirt?
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Old 04-30-2010, 04:41 PM   #2
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Removing dirt around foundation


Generically speaking as long as your not undermining the footing of the foundation you should be fine.

Depending on what your doing after you remove the dirt generically speaking might not apply.

4' wide or deep or both?

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Old 04-30-2010, 04:55 PM   #3
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Removing dirt around foundation


All I'm planning to do is remove the dirt, cut the window wells and allow more light into my basement. There will still be approximate 4 and a half feet of foundation covered by dirt.
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Old 04-30-2010, 05:18 PM   #4
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Removing dirt around foundation


I see no problem.
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Old 04-30-2010, 06:11 PM   #5
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Removing dirt around foundation


Since you are not doing any thing to remove the stability at the footing, I can see no harm. You will obviously have to do some painting and cosmetic work to the newly exposed wall, depending on what is applied for waterproofing.

I don't know if the pics are specific to your home, or are just generic photos typical of the basement/window well situation, but if it the actual structure, be sure you do not create a situation that causes the filled material to become unstable. or a situation that will direct water to your structure.


Also, as this looks like a master planned development, I'd suggest being sure you can alter the elevation this much without violating any homeowner covenants or other restrictions, particularly as it relates to the possibility of redirecting additional runoff onto an adjacent property.

Last edited by troubleseeker; 04-30-2010 at 06:20 PM.
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Old 04-30-2010, 07:51 PM   #6
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Removing dirt around foundation


From what it sounds like, you have a full 9' basement currently, which means you have 8' of unbalanced fill. Removing about 4' is not a problem, as it's actually lessening the force excerted laterelly on the wall. What you will want to tak into consideration though is:

- Is the foundation wall carrying floor joists above? If so, ou will need to have headers of some sort speced out.
- You need to address the water collection issues associated with window wells with such huge foot prints. I would be looking to drain the wells by a pipe to daylight, as it appears the yard drops alot, & quickly, to the back.
- Is the wall strong enough to take take the load exerted by the new retainign walls where it butts into the foundation??? That's an extremely hard question to answer here that can have many variables.

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